Message from the Office of the GBTA President

*The following message was originally sent as an email to GBTA Members.*

The clocks have sprung ahead and while the days are getting longer, the countdown to GBTA Convention 2017 is getting shorter. I am pleased to share that our Monday luncheon speaker at Convention Arena will be former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director and retired General David Petraeus. General Petraeus will deliver a short speech followed by a one-on-one interview where he will share his diverse experiences and discuss how his leadership helped to shape our country. You are the first to hear this and we will officially announce General Petraeus on the Convention website early next week. Wednesday’s Convention Arena will feature a one-on-one conversation with World Champion & Gold Medalist Michael Phelps – one of the most decorated athletes in history.

Our industry speakers that we have already announced for Center Stage are both sure to entertain and inform attendees with their industry insight. Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci will take the stage on Monday followed by Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on Tuesday. Stay tuned for more announcements and check the Convention website often to see what is in store. Hope to see you in Boston this July 15-19!

GBTA Convention 2017 will also feature an all new Innovation Series, in partnership with Phocuswright. This multifaceted, interactive program is designed to bring the business travel industry’s most impactful innovators to Boston. Nine innovators will compete for the opportunity to showcase their products and services at GBTA Convention 2017.

Over the course of three webinars beginning on April 25, each group of innovators will have the opportunity to present their pitch. Our esteemed panel of technology and industry leaders will interact with the innovators during each session, and Phocuswright and GBTA leadership will address the state of innovation and its role in corporate travel. The rest is up to you! At the conclusion of each webinar, the GBTA community will vote on the winner of each group during their respective webinar who will then go on to be featured on Innovation Row at GBTA Convention 2017. The finalists square off again at Convention during an exclusive Innovation Series education session.

You will not have to wait until July to get involved though as there is no shortage of events and networking opportunities in the months leading up to Convention. In my last communication, I highlighted our Conference program around the globe as well as our advocacy event – the Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.

I am also looking forward to attending the GBTA Foundation 20th Annual Gala Dinner next week in New York City. The Gala brings together business travel leaders from across the industry, providing the opportunity to network with industry peers while enjoying an evening of fun, delicious food and entertainment by musicians from the world-renowned Juilliard School.

The Gala Dinner is being held in conjunction with two education offerings for business travel professionals as well – the new delivery of the Global Leadership Professional® (GLP) Program through the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a forum discussion on trending topics impacting business travel.

The GLP course, Strategic Data-Driven Business Leadership, offered over three days focuses on harnessing data, analytics and design thinking for superior strategic insight, building iconic brands, enduring customer relationships and delivering peak performance.

There will also be an Open Forum Discussion called Trending Topics Impacting Global Business Travel, which will be facilitated by GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick. The discussion will take place on Monday, April 10. I encourage you to join your colleagues for this open forum discussion and hear the latest directives impacting the business travel industry, from the Visa Waiver program to the airlines electronic device ban.

In our fast-paced world, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest events and how it impacts your roles as a travel professional. Visit the GBTA Blog often for the latest on how new developments impact the world of business travel.

As always, I thank you for your continued support and commitment to GBTA. You are always welcome to reach out to me with any thoughts or questions.

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